Civil War 150 Dramatic Reading to Premiere in Frederick

April 14, 2011

The Frederick Arts Council, Historical Society of Frederick County, and Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET) have partnered together for a World Premiere dramatic reading of The Meeting at Kemp Hall to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Directed by Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Géné Fouché, The Meeting at Kemp Hall reading will be held on April 29th at 8pm and April 30th at 2pm at the Cultural Arts Center located at 15 West Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland. Tickets are $10 per person and advance ticket purchase is suggested.

Written by Julie Heifetz, The Meeting at Kemp Hall follows the Civil War, highlighting the famous meeting in 1861 in which the Maryland Legislature met in Frederick to determine whether the state would secede from the union. The playwright Julie Heifetz has developed the script from primary sources drawing directly from diaries, journal entries and letters of Fredrick residents found in the Historical Society. “The absence of any black voices in the material told me more about the war than any document could have”, said Julie Heifetz and to provide that perspective she has created the character of the narrator, who is African-American.

Playwright Julie Heifetz, M.A., L.P.C., is a psychotherapist, actor, educator, Emmy nominated writer, published author, and interviewer for Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation. Ms. Heifetz previous works include several books and plays, among which are “Voices and Echoes,” “Sparrow’s Song” and the Emmy nominated musical adapted for tv, “Sarah’s Song.”

The Frederick Arts Council fosters an environment where the arts may flourish in our community through grants and scholarships, arts advocacy, and links to essential resources. The Historical Society of Frederick County is dedicated to increasing public awareness and appreciation of the history of Frederick County. And the Maryland Ensemble Theatre has been producing thought-provoking theatre, fun family entertainment, artist residency programs for public schools, challenging classes and the side-splitting Comedy Pigs. It is the first time these organizations have collaborated on such a large project.

Support for the dramatic reading is provided by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, (HCWHA) in Carroll, Frederick, and Washington counties in Maryland.

The Meeting at Kemp Hall dramatic reading is part of a larger weekend of activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Frederick County entitled “The Burning Question of Secession”. For a detailed listing of all events, visit The Cultural Arts Center is located in downtown Frederick at 15 W. Patrick Street. To purchase tickets, call 301-662-4190.